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Veriphyr HIT Gives Littlest Victims of Patient Identity Theft a Fighting Chance

Posted on May 24, 2012 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

I recently came across a press release – “Veriphyr Donates Patient Privacy Breach Detection Service to Minnesota Hospital” – that gave me pause for two reasons. One being that I am always interested in news of charitable healthcare IT projects; and the second being that the subhead of the release further explained that the donation was made to a children’s hospital. Surely kids aren’t the victims of identity theft to such an extent that children’s hospitals are having to take precautions to prevent this type of crime, right? What could be done with an identity that hasn’t yet stepped into the world of banking, credit and loans?

Apparently, I’m pretty naive, because as a segment on NPR’s Morning Edition recently highlighted, “Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. Many identity theft victims are children and, because children don’t usually have reason to check their credit reports, the crime often goes undiscovered for years.” It also referred to a recent study by Carnegie Mellon University that found that more than 10 percent of 40,000 children had been victims of identity theft.

Utah, of all places, was highlighted in the audio segment because its attorney general’s office is piloting an online child identity protection service. I can’t help but wonder if they have ramped up efforts around anything to do with identity theft in the wake of the March 30th privacy breach that affected 780,000 Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries, and the resultant resignation of the state’s IT director and apology from the governor.

I decided to get in touch with the folks at Veriphyr to learn more about why they chose to donate their patient privacy breach detection service to Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare  – a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital (CMNH). According to the release mentioned above, the service protects patients’ personal health information by detecting inappropriate access by hospital employees and other insiders. The company uses “big data” analytics to detect potential privacy and regulatory compliance violations, and data breaches.

Alan Norquist, Veriphyr’s founder and CEO, was kind enough to answer my questions:

Has Veriphyr ever donated technology before?
Alan Norquist: “As a corporate sponsor of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Veriphyr donates a portion of each sale to our customers’ local CMNH hospital. The donation to Gillette Children’s is Veriphyr’s first donation of our services to a CMNH hospital.”

Why did Veriphyr choose to become involved in CMNH, and to make a donation to Gillette Children’s in particular?
“The Veriphyr management team wanted to give back to the community and based on the background of the team, they decided to get involved with a charity involving children’s health. We selected CMNH because they offer a program that is national in scope but has local impact. Most importantly, 100 percent of our donations directly benefit children’s health – none is used for CMNH administrative costs.

“Veriphyr decided to expand our involvement by giving our Patient Data Privacy service to one CMNH hospital this year. We chose Gillette Children’s Specialty Hospital because of its internationally recognized work in the diagnosis and treatment of children and young adults who have disabilities or complex medical needs.”

Is there a timeframe or other restrictions associated with donation of the technology?
“Veriphyr will provide privacy breach detection and user access compliance services to Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare for one year.”

It seems we read about hospital privacy breaches on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Why does Veriphyr feel they are becoming so frequent? What should healthcare systems be doing to protect themselves that many tend to overlook?
“One reason for the increase in hospital privacy breaches is that criminals have recognized that the value of medical records is greater than other forms of data. The wealth of personal information contained in medical records can be used in a range of criminal activities including medical id theft, tax refund theft, and more. This has made hospitals a prime target.

“In response, healthcare organizations have implemented appropriate policies and training. Now, leading hospitals are taking the next step and deploying proactive services like Veriphyr’s that detect patient privacy data breaches.”

It is comforting to think that hospitals are now taking such proactive steps, especially in light of national news that criminals think nothing of taking advantage of our most vulnerable population.

New York eHealth Collaborative Opens Application for Accelerator Program

Posted on I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

As mentioned in a post on EMR Thoughts,  the New York eHealth Collaborative recently launched the New York Digital Health Accelerator. This program is for “early- and growth-stage digital health companies that are developing cutting edge technology products in care coordination, patient engagement, analytics and message alerts for healthcare providers.”

The application for this program is now open, though the deadline is quickly approaching on June 1st. After the deadline, a committee will review the applications and select up to twelve companies to participate based on different expectations such as product innovation, management’s track record, and company stage.

The companies that are selected will receive up to $300,000 throughout the course of the program. According to the NYDHA website, participants who are selected will also receive the following:

  • Access to clinical and technology feedback from the participating provider organizations.
  • Technology experts to help customize and integrate product to the statewide network that integrates all of the EHR data across the state.
  • Participating in a leadership program in which you will be able to interact with a network of healthcare leaders, successful entrepreneurs and investors.
  • Access to the NYeC-led EHR/HIE Interoperability Workgroup network of providers, states, and vendors from across the country.

This program is being sponsored by many different providers and investors. A full list can be found here.

Companies all around the country can apply as long as they meet the requirements. Companies that should not apply include pharmaceutical, biotech, surgical medical device, and diagnostics companies. Frequently asked questions are available concerning a variety of topics relating to the application and the program.

There was a information and networking event held on May 10th concerning the accelerator program and it was streamed live. It has been posted here for those who missed it.

For companies that are interested, the application is available here. Be sure to turn it in by June 1st, and finalist interviews will be held on July 19th and 20th in New York City. The program will officially begin on September 10th.

More Complaints About the ONC Workforce Program

Posted on May 23, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I think my post on Finding Jobs for ONC Workforce Participants and other related posts have been some of the saddest posts I’ve done. My heart really does break when I read the stories of the people who have done the ONC Workforce program and can’t find healthcare IT jobs. Here’s one such example that was recently left in the comments (minor modifications from the original):

I too completed the ONC Workforce Training Program in December 2011. I am an R.N. with over 20 years of healthcare experience.I have no prior IT experience…$19 billion dollars [the whole HITECH Act was $36 billion, so this number is off. I want to say the workforce program was just a little under $1 billion. Either way, it’s still a lot of money.] of tax payers money has been invested in the training we should be prepared to get a job. I have been agressively looking for an entry level position also and have not been able to get work because when I speak to employers, recruiters, the outcome is always the same “the EHR companies want experienced people”, they are not interested in the HIT certification. The IT companies are being very selective at this time, they are looking for experts to implement the EHR systems. Eveyone is making money, the colleges, Ahima, Pearson Vue, computer companies, printer companies, and all of the supply companies that students buy equipment and supplies from. I have spent $3,000.00 on equipment in preparation for taking the ONC training. It may be tuition free, but it is very expensive to take the training. I have been unemployed for almost 4 years due to lay-offs. I have advanced training in healthcare and have spent large sums of money and remain unemployed. I thought that with my nursing background that I would have been a perfect fit for the ONC Trainer Role. I appreciate the training, but am greatly disappointed with not being trained for the job industry. Well if anyone has any lead on how I can get a job please share the information.

In that post, I linked to the EMR & EHR Jobs board that I have in the sidebar of my websites. There are quite a few EMR related jobs listed there. I haven’t quite figured out the reason for the disconnect. I’ve always been an experience over certification guy, but some of these stories really tug at the heart strings. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I have many answers for these people searching for healthcare IT jobs.

Better EMR Design

Posted on I Written By

Priya Ramachandran is a Maryland based freelance writer. In a former life, she wrote software code and managed Sarbanes Oxley related audits for IT departments. She now enjoys writing about healthcare, science and technology.

Now that we’ve heard the statistics about EMR use, we’re also hearing a lot of opinions on EMRs, and not all of them are laudatory. In fact I read some separate articles recently, and they pretty much said the same things in so many different words:

– EMRs are not intuitively designed. They do not reflect actual workflows that most doctors or hospitals follow. Rather the applications look like they’ve been designed by a bunch of programmers who then design the UI to look like how they’re underlying data are structured.
– Because they’re pretty much being foisted on hospitals and doctor’s offices through “incentive” programs, often the resources expended on them are sunk costs. To improve the workflow of a software to accurately reflect the needs of a particular hospital, you will need to pump extra money into it. That’s about as likely to happen as a software vendor providing you a customized solution without charging you anything extra.

Let me assure you – the medical establishment has it exactly right, at least in my experience. I work as a technical writer, so much of my working life consists of documenting the products that make it to your doorsteps, and I have experienced some of the same frustrations as you. I’ve complained about them, made myself unpopular with development teams and added my two cents to feature request lists, just like many of you.

But, I also see things from a programming perspective too, and I’m here as a sort of ambassador between both worlds. Many teams I worked with had an actual designer working as part of the team.
But the designer’s role was often making the colors look attractive enough, or the font large enough to appeal to a cross-section of users. One of my old bosses, different industry and everything, called this our Lipstick on a Pig game, and plenty of times that’s what the designer’s role was. Inventing plenty of shades of lipstick for the proverbial pig.

Ergonomic design was not what the designer was tasked with doing. One place I worked at even had a doctor on payroll. Except he had a doctor’s degree from Shanghai, had not cleared his exams in the States and had no idea how medicine is practiced in the States. It sure looked good on paper when their sales team went out to clients and talked about having a dedicated doctor on staff to help with software design.

And the effect of poor design on functionality is often perplexing, sometimes disastrous. Case in point – documenting all the drugs administered to a patient. It has been drilled into programmers that clicks are sacred things, you don’t want doctors wasting too many of them.

So because we don’t want too many clicks, we list each and every medication a patient has been administered, add some pagination logic around it and call it a day.

The doctor, who is the end user, for whom we designed this software system, now sees all the information in a “convenient” list and doesn’t need to open up a medication tree to view the medications under it. Except if she has a very sick patient with multiple encounters, the case history reveals a medication that is 31 pages deep. To get to Xanax, she might have to page through 30 previous pages.

While these “features” fall into the realm of merely annoying, they’re nowhere as disastrous as those modal alerts that Barbara J. Moore talks about in her KevinMD piece. A modal window is one of those annoying windows that you have to take an action on, otherwise you can’t proceed any further in your workflow. Moore points out the hazards of such alerts which force a doctor to take a choice, any choice, but aren’t available later if the doctor wishes to review the alerts at leisure.

So yes, software vendors need people who know the workflow to design the systems. But more importantly, you – the medical establishment – must keep requesting changes or suggesting features, or vendors will remain complacent about what they put out.

EHR Company Funding Risks – Well Funded EHR Companies

Posted on May 22, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

This is the second post in my EHR Company Funding Risks series that was started in response to my original post about the The Current Health IT & EHR Bubble. In this series, we’re looking at the following EHR company categories: Seed Funded, Well Funded, Positive Cash Flow, Large EHR Company, and Large Company Backed EHR. Next up is Well Funded EHR companies.

Well Funded EHR Companies
These EHR companies are those that have moved past the beta phase of their EHR and have usually gotten a large second round of funding that will allow them to work on scaling their EHR user base. This is where I see the largest number of what most would consider “startup” EHR companies. They usually have a few million in the bank and somewhere between 50-200 doctors on their platform.

With the money in the bank, most of these EHR companies have a number of years of runway to be able to see their EHR company play out. They still haven’t made it to what I call the EHR promise land of 1000+ doctors on their platform, but they have enough money to try and reach that goal over the next couple years.

The risk for a practice choosing one of these well funded EHR companies is what will the EHR vendor choose to do once they reach 1000+ doctors. Will they sell the company off to someone else (which almost never ends well for the practice)? Or do these EHR vendors have the staying power and desire to go after something much larger? The other risk is that the EHR company will only ever have a few hundred doctors. When you’re a well financed EHR company that doesn’t gain traction, this will usually end up in a fire sale of the EHR to some other company who wants to acquire the users you do have.

Despite the risks mentioned above, many really love these “startup” EHR companies that have plenty of funding. They’re usually very responsive companies that are able to have a real personal touch with their users. They usually have some unique selling proposition which the practice found so intriguing in the first place.

Most of the Free EHR vendors fit in this or the previous seed funded category as well. However, the amount of funding that the Free EHR vendors require is a multiple higher because they usually need to be able to reach a certain install base before their revenue model kicks in. The other principles are very much the same. Although, most of the free EHR vendor revenue models require a large user base. The Free EHR promise land is probably closer to 10,000 and some might argue that to really make it work they need 100,000+.

Next up, we’ll look at Positive Cash Flow EHR Companies. Read all the posts in the EHR Company Funding Risks series.

ONC Wants Medical Practices To Have A Privacy and Security Officer

Posted on May 21, 2012 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)  has thrown down the gauntlet on HIPAA, challenging medical practices to select a privacy and security officer.  The ONC recommendation comes as part of a report outlining a 10-step plan to protect patient data.

While the advice it offers might be helpful to a range of providers, the report is largely focused on medical practices which are adopting EHRs and don’t have trained IT staffers to manage privacy protection and security, said Daniel Berger, president and CEO of Redspin Inc. in an interview with InformationWeek.  As practices shift from paper notes to digital records, there’s countless opportunities to slip up and have a data breach.

The problem may get worse as practices move up to Meaningful Use Stage 2, as this level of compliance will force practices to exchange data between providers.  Securing their own health data is hard enough; HIEs poses greater risks yet.

To make sure their data stays secure, a privacy officer is important but not sufficient. Other suggestions include:

*  Do a privacy/security risk analysis, and create an action plan to address problems found during the analysis

*  Develop written policies and procedures for protecting electronic protected health information

*  Educate and train employees thoroughly

*  Make sure business associate agreements  meet HIPAA standards and HITECH breach notification requirements

Though the ONC is trying to be helpful, I suspect that few medical practices are ready to follow these suggestions.  While practices certainly understand that HIPAA is a serious proposition, I’ll submit that few are ready to do a risk analysis. (After all, many medical practices haven’t had their EMR that long and are pretty overwhelmed just making it work for them.)

On the other hand, if practices name a privacy and security officer, train them and get them going now on risk analysis, it could result in a process of learning where knowledge diffuses out into the practice. Yup, I think that step will go along way on its own.

HIPAA Laws, Success of Healtchare IT, the Gap Between Large and Small Hospitals, and More — This Week in HealthCare Scene

Posted on May 20, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Here is the weekly roundup of hot stories around the Healthcare Scene Blog Network:
EMR and HIPAA
HIPAA Applies To Those Who Don’t Know About It
Anyone who knows the rules of HIPAA should be held accountable for breaking them, right? According to a new appellate decision in California, even those who don’t know the rules could be punished. A recent ruling on a case did just that. Read about United States v Zhou and find out if you might be doing something illegal and not realizing it.

Meaningful Health IT News
Mark Versel, 19244-2012
With the recent death of his father, Meaningful Health IT News writer, Neil Versel, has dedicated himself to educating people about patient safety and multiple system atrophy (MSA), which ultimately claimed his father’s life. MSA is similar to Parkinson’s Disease, only more aggressive and fast-acting. During the last weeks of his life, Versel’s father, Mark, was treated at a local community hospital and Georgetown University Hospital. The differences in care between the two are startling, and the lack of appropriate care the community hospital hurt his father in his frail state. Read more about why Versel wants to educate the world about MSA and patient safety to make sure others don’t receive similar care to what his father did.

Smart Phone Health Care
Losing Weight on the Go: Keep Food Diary Easier than Ever
Recording meals and exercise have shown to increase weight loss. However, who wants to carry around a pen and paper everywhere? Luckily, there has been many apps created recently to make tracking food easier than ever. Check out the benefits of doing so and which apps top the chart.

EHR and EMR Videos
PrimeSUITE by Greenway Medical: Usability through Innovation
“When we consider usability we really take it down to a very simple philosophy, and that is, having the information always available to the users at their fingertips. . . The fewest number of clicks to get to information.” PrimeSUITE takes pride in the usability of their systems and discuss how innovation leads to more usability.

Hospital EMR and EHR
EMR Gap Grows Between Large, Small Hospitals
While Meaningful Use incentives have boosted the adoption of EMR, the gap between large and small hospitals continues to grow. Smaller hospitals may get further behind in the Meaningful Use stages because of the lack of resources for a high-volume of patient information. Discover the reasons behind the gap, and the suggestions being made to help smaller hospitals reach the requirements of Meaningful Use.

EHR Company Funding Risks – Seed Funded EHR Companies

Posted on May 18, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

In my post called The Current Health IT & EHR Bubble a good conversation was started about the way EHR companies are funded and how many of them are at risk of running out of money. Obviously, this should be a concern to anyone selecting an EHR software. Once an EHR company runs out of money, it’s almost never pretty for their users. The EHR software is usually sold to a larger EHR vendor or other EHR competitor and you can imagine which EHR that vendor chooses to sunset.

Here’s a look at how I define the various funding for EHR companies and the risks associated with each EHR funding situation: Seed Funded, Well Funded, Positive Cash Flow, Large EHR Company, and Large Company Backed EHR. I’m sure some of these categories could be divided other ways too. Plus, some EHR companies fall into the middle of 2 categories. However, hopefully you can use these categories to get an idea of how the EHR software you have or are looking at getting is positioned as far as EHR funding.

Over the next couple weeks, I’ll take each category (Seed Funded, Well Funded, Positive Cash Flow, Large EHR Company, and Large Company Backed EHR) and discuss how I define each category and some of the characteristics and risks associated with each type of EHR vendor. First up is Seed Funded EHR companies.

Seed Funded EHR Companies
This is the relatively new EHR company. In most cases, these EHR companies have a very small set of basically beta EHR users. Most people see these companies as the most risky and that’s probably true. Small funding and small user base means you have less revenue and less cash in the bank. However, most of these companies also have smaller staff and burn through money much slower than large companies.

The question with seed funded companies is can they get to either the next round of funding (the more likely option) or enough users before they run out of money. This is often a hard question to answer. In the current EHR investment market, it seems most EHR companies in this stage have gone and gotten the next round of EHR funding while the funding market is good.

Some physicians love these companies. As one of their beta users, your feedback is heard and incorporated into the product. Plus, it’s exciting for many of us to see something build out over time. This is particularly true when the small EHR software company is doing something innovative and unique. The good part for the EHR market is that if a company like this runs out of money, only a few practices are affected. Plus, those practices that are affected usually knew what they were getting into when they chose the small EHR company.

If a seed funded EHR company is able to build a user base with just their seed funding combined with some good boot strapping, a number of them will be able to kick and scratch their way to profitability with a much smaller group of customers. Although, once they do that, they move from this category into the Cash Flow Positive category of EHR companies

Next up, we’ll look at Well Funded EHR Companies. Read all the posts in the EHR Company Funding Risks series.

An EMR Point of Differentiation – Watson

Posted on May 17, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Michael Dale has an interesting post I came across discussing IBM’s Watson in healthcare. Here’s one piece of the post:

You may know Watson best for its performance on the Jeopardy game show. Watson demonstrated swift decision making after indexing over 200 million pages of data. Watson would only answer if the system crossed a certain confidence threshold. The confidence threshold was a predefined percentage set inside the system. When Watson referenced the data, it determined the percentage to which it was sure the top three answers were correct. If the percentage of the top answer crossed the confidence threshold, Watson would signal for the answer. The IBM machine proved itself successful against two humans competing in the game show by winning both rounds.

Certainly physicians and members have much to gain from the assistance of a machine that can reference millions of pages of data to ascertain a diagnosis or treatment. While physicians may always hold the upper hand to interpret the context of the situation for a presenting patient, Watson’s assistance can certainly supplement any decision using vast amounts of data in a quicker time frame.

My immediate reaction to reading this post was the following:

Reading what you wrote made me wonder if the Watson like technology could become a strong differentiation between EHR vendors. It has been extremely challenging lately to differentiate between the various EHR vendor offerings. It seems like having a Watson like brain assisting you in the process could become a differentiation point.

So many physicians are trying to sift through the overwhelming number of EHR companies, that they are looking and wanting for some sort of major EHR differentiation. I wonder if some smart Watson like technology would be amazing enough to blow physicians away so they start saying, I have to have that.

Michael Dale also discusses in the post how Watson would essentially use an EHR to access the data. Sounds a lot like my comments about EHR Being the Database of Healthcare.

Healthcare IT’s Success is Truly in the Eye of the Beholder

Posted on May 16, 2012 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

I’ve come across few articles recently that really validate the notion that the success of healthcare IT is really in the eye of the beholder, or in some cases, the editorialized results of a study.

Take, for example, the following headlines:

“EHR Use Not Linked to Improved Diabetes Care Quality, Study Finds”
and
“App Improves Diabetes Management Among Teenagers, Study Finds”

I find it hard to believe that if formally connected, the second study couldn’t somehow influence the first. In other words, if a mobile health app can improve diabetes management among teenagers, shouldn’t whatever data that app is capturing transmit successfully to the teen patients’ EHRs for easy access by their doctors? And then couldn’t that doctor digest that information, picking out patterns in the patient’s behavior that is either positively or negatively impacting their diabetic condition and overall health, to better inform care protocols?

I’m taking big leaps of logic here, since the first study found that not only was there no correlation between the use of an EHR and “increased adherence to clinical guidelines for care processes and treatments,” but there was actually a “higher probability of meeting certain targets for blood pressure and A lc levels after two years” at practices without such systems. (Seems like these outcomes might be due more to end-user experience than the technology itself.)

The second study doesn’t even mention EHRs, but I wonder how many of the 20 teens participating in the study see doctors who have this type of technology, how many of those doctors know their patients are participating in the study (all I’d assume), and how many are feeding the app’s info into an EHR.

Surely if a smartphone app is helping a diabetic teenager better adhere to medication regimens, then the EHR their doctor could potentially be using would somehow tie in to better clinical outcomes. Another study to start, perhaps?

The second set of headlines that gives me pause (and kinda makes me chuckle) includes:

“Physician Use of Tablets has Nearly Doubled Since 2011”
and
“Not all Doctors and Nurses are Happy with an iPad in the Hospital Setting”

Neither headline surprises me. We all know that adoption of mobile health tools is growing, if not by leaps and bounds then at least steadily. It would make sense that providers are adopting tablets in relation to this. Every technology has its detractors, so of course not everyone is going to be happy with how an iPad works in a clinical setting, just as not every provider is going to want to install an EHR. I do wonder, though, how the same set of users mentioned in the second article would rate a different kind of tablet if given the opportunity to use one.

I find the first sentence to be kind of hard to believe: “It looks as if most doctors and nurses would rather not touch the iPad at work (or deal with any other kind of tablet computing).” If “most” doctors and nurses would rather have nothing to do with tablets at work, than how can physician use of tablets have doubled since last year?

So you see, the “success” of healthcare IT seems to depend on whose writing about it. I have a feeling the American Forest and Paper Association might be behind the very first one.